What To Do When You Get Tired (So You Don’t Reinforce BAD Technique)

What should you do when you get tired and in training and your stroke starts to fall apart? Should you stop and rest or keep going?


The last three, 400 meters, if you are really starting to feel it and it’s starting to fall apart then, that I think is okay. Because you want to put yourself in that zone where things are hurting and you’ve got yourself in that position where the stroke can fall apart.

Hi, Brenton here from Effortless Swimming. In today’s video, I’m going to talk about at what point should you stop, rest and reset within a set if you feel like your technique and your stroke is starting to fall apart.

Now I sort of sit in the middle here. You’ve got to do the hard yards, you’ve got to put in the effort and you’ve got to develop that mental toughness and ability to push yourself in training for you to get faster. I’m also on the other fence where technique is really important and if you are training bad habits too often and too regularly in training, then that just means you’re going to be training bad technique, which is only going to work against you in the long run.

So there’s a balance of both and the balance that I typically like to sit within is let’s say you’re doing a 3K set. You’re doing this 3K set and halfway through you feel like things are really starting to fall apart and you can notice that your times are slipping away, your stroke just isn’t feeling, you know those errors and those flaws are starting to come in. Then that’s the time you may want to either stop for a little bit, maybe sit out 100 meters and then go again. You might need to stretch the time frame out a little bit so you can hold a better technique. That is okay to do if it’s starting to fall apart really early on because you’re more than likely going to get more of a benefit from training and developing those good habits with your technique than just pushing through the rest of the 3K set with rubbish technique for the sake of maybe a little bit more fitness.

But if you get through a set, let’s say it’s a 3K set, the last three, 400 meters, if you are really starting to feel it and it’s starting to fall apart then, that I think is okay because you want to put yourself in that zone where things are hurting and you’ve got yourself in that position where the stroke can fall apart. Because that means that you’ve pushed yourself physically and you’re going to have to push yourself mentally to keep it together. So that is a good place to get to. You don’t want to sit at this 70 or 80% mark the whole time. You want to go into that red zone. Especially if you are looking to really be competitive in some of your races. So that is a good thing to do.

And if it is towards the end of the set and you know the strike does start to fall apart towards the end there, that is okay. You shouldn’t just stop because you can feel it falling apart. So for example, in that 3K set, three, 400 meters, it’s really starting to hurt, you’re starting to burn. Then you don’t want to stop then, you want to continue to push through. And if you can just keep your stroke together and have that mental toughness to be able to sustain it, it is okay if your stroke really starts to fall apart in the last 25 or 50 meters when you are really going for it to finish that off. So that is completely okay to do.

Your challenge is, hold it as long as you possibly can. So there’s a balance there and you need both to be able to swim faster. Yes, we talk a lot about technique, that’s a big focus on what we do. That’s what we specialize in. But there’s also that element of fitness and training and pushing yourself in training and doing the hard yards. You can not become a better swimmer without doing the hard yards. So you need to put that work in.

And inside our video membership, we’ve got the workouts there that we like to give swimmers that will help you with your fitness, your speed, and your endurance. So we do focus on that, not a lot in these videos. We’re starting to do a couple more and I’ll start to share more of those videos on what you can do in your training, but make sure that you are doing the hard work along with working on your technique.

If you enjoyed this video, make sure you like and subscribe below. And if you know someone who’s looking to improve their swimming, please share our YouTube channel or our Facebook or our Instagram, wherever you’re watching this. Please share our details with them. It helps us reach more people. And I’ll be back next week with another video. Thanks for watching.


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Brenton and Mitch were great to work with at the clinic, Good to get video analysis to work on straight away, practice some new drills and go home knowing what you need to work on.

Alex McFadyen